Year 8 Explore the Coastal Geography of the Vale of Glamorgan

June 27, 2016

Year 8 visited three local coastal locations: Ogmore-by-Sea, Southerndown Beach and Barry Island. The title of the field trip was ‘Investigating coastal processes, landforms and management.’

Ogmore-by-Sea is a small coastal village in the Vale of Glamorgan. It lies on the western limit of the Glamorgan Heritage Coastline. The low cliffs and rock platforms along the coast from the mouth of the River Ogwr provide outstanding access to some of Wales’s finest geological heritage. 200 million years ago (early Jurassic) the area had a tropical climate and its seas were alive with ammonites and giant marine reptiles. Local cliffs are renowned for their fossils.


At Ogmore and Southerndown beaches pupils collected environmental quality survey data and answers to coastal detective questions. The wet conditions unfortunately made it too slippery for pupils to fossil hunt on Southerndown Beach, however the views were still impressive. Pupils considered management issues at Southerndown, focusing on cliff erosion and the impacts of tourism.

At Barry Island pupils considered how this once thriving South Wales holiday resort is attempting to ‘rebrand’ itself in order to attract new visitors and businesses. Pupils surveyed shops and services, the quality of the environment and interviewed visitors. The day was completed by an ice-cream at Marco’s Café made famous by the BBC series Gavin and Stacey. Publicity from this TV series has certainly increased visitor numbers in recent years. Pupils also discovered that ‘Barrybados’ is the new brand name for the area.


Pupil comments:

“It was great being by the sea and learning about coastal geography. I really enjoyed Barry Island and carrying out questionnaires with tourists and local people.”

“I learnt a lot and really enjoyed myself. I would love to do trips like this again.”

“The cliffs at Southerndown were amazing.”


Web links:

Mr Meek